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Tools for Curation

4 min read

 Mihailidi and Cohen write:

The preservation and organization of content online is now largely the responsibility of the individual in highly personalized information spaces. This has created a need to understand how individuals choose to pull together, sift through, organize, and present information within these spaces. 


I've been using the tool Diigo for years to save and organize -- and now share with students - - the information I want to save as I roam the web (or learn about new things in groups like this).

I install  a small tool in my bookmarks bar and then, anytime I come across content that I want to save, I just click,  tag and save.




I now have thousands of things bookmarked, accessible from any computer or mobile device. 

(and, with a bit more effort, I can bookmark things from my mobile devices when I happen to come across something while browsing on the bus or standing in line).



The key to organizing all of this is tagging each resource.   I started somewhat intuitively, settled into a pattern of certain terms for categories of things, and then easily editing my tags to make them all consistent.

Diigo suggests tags based on recent use, and also will add more suggestions in pop ups as you begin to type a tag, so it supports consistent tagging once you have used it for a time.


Sharing with Students.


I can do a quick search in Diigo for everything I've tagged with a given term, and Diigo with give me a URL to a page showing all my links on that topic.

The great thing is that anyone opening the URL will see the most updated list.  If I shared this URL for things I've tagged "assessment", anyone opening it will see what I've updated since I sent them the URL.



I can also create a RSS feed from any tag, and this lets me add "widgets" that will display my resources in given categories to  websites I'm using for class, and the display will update as I bookmark more things.  RSS is a way to "subscribe" to content so that when something is updated on the web, that content is automatically updated in the tool you're using to grab that new content.


For example, I've been using Wikispaces (about to be shut down, sadly) to organize resources for student projects for one of my courses. I just drop the RSS feed into a widget on pages for each topic, and my most current bookmarks are displayed there.  Beyond just a link to my diigo page of those tagged items, this widget shows the actual bookmarks so that students can browse and click.   They can click through to my Diigo account to see even more links.


For example, here are some resources for students interested in work with technology in support of English Language Learners.   


I also put RSS widgets on my wordpress syllabi.  I create a tag for each class to share new resources as content relevant to our course is published.   For example, this quarter, I've called the widget "Media Literacies in the Wild, and you can find it in the right sidebar of my syllabus.  When I read something that I think students will enjoy or adds to our discussion, I simply tag it and it shows up here on my syllbus a short time later.  It takes 5 seconds.


Students Sharing with Each Other

Diigo enables the creation of groups, so that students can collaboratively compile digital resources together.  They can also add things to the class hashtag is widgets are set up that way.


Other Diigo Tools

With Diigo, you can also annotate websites and share a special link for the annotated version with others.


You can also connect to a blog:  Anything you tag with a designated tag will automatically create a new blog post with links to what you've tagged in that way.   This looks something like this post.



An Alternative to Diigo


I've just started exploring Pinboard, a cleaner interface with fewer options.  



There is a free version of Diigo. I use the $40 annual upgrade for acces to a few more features


I use the $25 annual version of Pinboard.